Hallelujah: The ratings are in for NBC’s production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert: The very well-reviewed Easter musical delivered 8.6 million viewers and a 1.5 adults 18-49 rating.
These returns gave Jesus Christ Superstar roughly double the total audience of the most recent live musical (Fox’s flop last December, A Christmas Story Live) and are up a bit from Fox’s somewhat comparable Easter event from two years ago, The Passion.
While a good return for Easter Sunday, the numbers are below NBC’s most recent musical, Hairspray, from 2016. And they’re down from NBC’s previous live musicals as well. The network points out that by airing on a Sunday, and a national holiday, that Jesus Christ Superstar was inherently at more of a ratings disadvantage than its previous offerings. Still, given the strong reviews and solid performance (especially among total viewers, if not adults 18-49), this one slips into the win column for the network — excluding sports and the Golden Globes, it’s a two-year time-slot high for the network. The special came within a tenth of a point of beating Fox’s American Idol in the demo to win the night.